Bill Gates lands in town; big names at the Australian Open; no Duchess Down Under yet

Gates maintained a hectic schedule during his time in Sydney. Arriving on a private jet (he reportedly owns four), he caught up with the prime minister Anton Albanese in Kirribilli, spoke to the Lowy Institute and is said to have had private dinner dates and meetings with some of Sydney’s wealthiest citizens including Surry Hills’ Canva billionaire darlings, Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrechtwho shares his passion for philanthropy.

Open season in Melbourne

Melbourne and this year’s Australian Open once again proved to be the nation’s social magnet in January.

Nine TV director Michael Healy, David Gyngell, Leila McKinnon and Stan CEO Martin Kugeler take a selfie in the Nine suite at the Australian Open.

Nine TV director Michael Healy, David Gyngell, Leila McKinnon and Stan CEO Martin Kugeler take a selfie in the Nine suite at the Australian Open.Credit:Paul Rovere

Bill Gates and his crew flew in to see the action after purchasing their own tickets weeks ago.

There was indeed a bit of drama as organizers were faced with filling the prime $15,000 courthouse seat intended to host the weather girl and Melbourne society princess Bec Judd, who listens to PS had to pull out at the last minute due to a nasty gastro fit. Her footballer husband Chris represented instead.

The hottest off-court venue was the Piper Heidsieck Champagne Bar, a little slice of Parisian glamor that materialized outside of the Rod Laver Arena, where a number of celebrities checked in between games to fuel up.

Julia Morris soaks up the ambience at the Australian Open's Piper Heidsiek Champagne Bar.

Julia Morris soaks up the ambience at the Australian Open’s Piper Heidsiek Champagne Bar.Credit:Fiona Hamilton

Dannii Minogue faced with her partner of nine years, fellow singer and musician Adrian Neuman. Phantom of the opera Singer Josh Piterman swapped his mask for a bubble whistle with a personal trainer on Monday Duncan McDaide.

actor Rachel Griffiths and her artistic husband Andy Taylor brought her daughters Adelaide and clementine with them while being Australia’s very own jolly lady Julia Morris held court with another comedian RhysNicholson.

Dannii Minogue with her longtime boyfriend Adrian Newman at the Australian Open.

Dannii Minogue with her longtime boyfriend Adrian Newman at the Australian Open.Credit:Fiona Hamilton

Over in the suite of official broadcast partner Nine, former television honcho David Gingel and his wife, presenter Leila McKinnonThey were busy posing for selfies with Nine’s TV director Michael Heil and Stan boss Martin Kugeler.

Tonight’s women’s final should also prove interesting with the activewear designer making headlines Pipe Edwards due in court. Yesterday’s VIP audience included the Prime Minister Anton Albanese and foreign minister Penny Wong.

Family affair: Actress Rachel Griffiths with daughters Adelaide and Clem and her artistic husband Andy Taylor at the Australian Open.

Family affair: Actress Rachel Griffiths with daughters Adelaide and Clem and her artistic husband Andy Taylor at the Australian Open.Credit:Fiona Hamilton

Fixed friends from the air

They may now work for rival networks and have both weathered their share of publicity storms, but clearly struggled with Ten’s personality Lisa Wilkinson and her former today colleague at nine, Sylvia JeffreysShe had some catching up to do at her four-hour dinner at Paddington’s hip Ursula’s restaurant on Wednesday night.

Solid Friendship: Lisa Wilkinson and Sylvia Jeffreys.

Solid Friendship: Lisa Wilkinson and Sylvia Jeffreys.Credit:Lisa Wilkinson/Instagram

PS hears that the women who have maintained a firm friendship were deep in conversation and in no hurry to end the night.

Duchess was silent on tour

organizer of Sarah, Duchess of York‘s upcoming speaking tour is still waiting for the Queen to return with new dates for her trip to Australia after an unspecified “scheduling conflict” resulted in her February dates being scrapped.

It’s not clear what the scheduling conflict was, though the upcoming coronation of King Charles IIIthe ongoing controversy Prince Harry and her own scandal-ridden ex-husband Prince Andrew could all be factors. The last thing company needs right now is another set of loose lips.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Credit:Getty

The concept of their shows revolved around the Duchess sitting on stage telling untold stories of life within the royal family, which given recent headlines would surely make for an engaging tutorial.

Disappointed but determined the shows will go ahead, Promoter and Lateral Events Boss Simon Baggs told PS that ticket sales were particularly strong in Sydney, where prices for their show, titled 2000 Seats, ranged from $99 to $188 In conversation with and chatting with the Duchess Ray Martin.

It was estimated that Ferguson made about $250,000 from her tour of Australia, which also included Melbourne and Brisbane.

“We’re waiting for her to come back with new dates and we’ll have to connect those to theaters based on availability,” Baggs told PS, adding that ticket holders could receive a refund now or wait until replacement dates are announced.

Meanwhile, Sydney will host the former US President in March Barack Obama on his speaking tour of Australia, for which he is estimated to earn at least $500,000 per performance.

Former US President Barack Obama is popular in speaking circles.

Former US President Barack Obama is popular in speaking circles.Credit:AP

Obama is being brought to Sydney by local conference company Growth Faculty, which has been organizing speaking tours for more than a decade.

2011 Founder and CEO of the Growth Faculty Karen Beattie brought Hollywood actors George Clooney into town for a business seminar, where he gave a speech, hosted a luncheon and cocktail party, and then collected a fee of more than $600,000 before boarding a jet to fly home.

A lot has changed in the speaker business since then, and Beattie has evidently learned some important lessons from the Clooney experience. For Obama’s journey, the technology means his talk will also be streamed live to paying subscribers, in addition to those paying a premium to be in the Sydney audience, increasing the revenue potential.

Fly in, fly out: George Clooney.

Fly in, fly out: George Clooney.Credit:AP

Over the years, Sydney has been a lucrative destination for well-known stars looking for an easy salary package.

2002 former US President bill clinton spent eight days in Australia and delivered seven speeches in five cities. His fee for the whirlwind lecture tour was reportedly $1.175 million The Washington Postand that didn’t include his travel and lodging reimbursements.

The star spent about $500,000 each on actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Pacino performing in Sydney a decade ago.

Prescandal, actor Kevin Spacey is said to have earned him a fee of around $ 650,000 Richard III Performing at the Lyric Theater in Sydney in 2011 during Stevie Wonder It was rumored that he once picked up a $500,000 salary package for a VIP show.

Not so cool countdown

There’s nothing cool about this year’s OzKitsch’s Coldest 100 Countdown, the cultural counterpoint to the annual Hottest 100 also kicking off Saturday on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Hidden talent: Germaine Greer.

Hidden talent: Germaine Greer.

Compiled by the Master of Cringe, former journalist and now corporate relations consultant Andrew Scholl via his social media handle @OzKitsch, this will be the seventh annual Coldest 100.

Last year’s event generated more than 5 million unique views of various abominations ranging from soft tones to over the years Alan Belford Jonesradiant in a pastel pink ensemble that kills its way Everyone the texts of I am Australian on stage with Andre Rieuto Jones’ 2GB replacement, Ben Fordhamand a truly horrible embezzlement of Roxannebecame to vaccination.

The annual countdown has become so popular that Sholl has spoken to several television producers about turning the OzKitsch concept into a full-fledged television program. Bring it on.

This year, Scholl has unearthed an all-new set of terrifying performances to enjoy, including: today‘s Karl Stefanovic and his former television partner Lisa Wilkinson To sing summer nights from Fat in a 2012 telethon. They sound like strangled cats.

Far more pleasing to the ear is the feminist icon Germain Greer they sing Tammy Wynette classic stand by your man in 2001.

Greer has quite a lot of pipes, especially hitting the high notes, and it turns out she wasn’t afraid to show them off. She was a regular cast member on a show called Beautiful time with Kenny Everett in England in the late 1960s.

There is also a 17-year-old Julia Morris sing and wind their way through Endure for a hero in a pair of pumps during her performance Bert Newton‘s new faces 1985, a clip from Chip Rafferty To sing I’m not a flamin’ kiwi 1965 & Marlene Dietrich she sang during her 1965 Australian tour boomerang baby.

And we can only guess what Tina Arena I’m reminded of her performance whipping fried chicken in a 1983 ad for Ollie’s Family Restaurants, a long-defunct Victorian fast-food chain.

The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here. Bill Gates lands in town; big names at the Australian Open; no Duchess Down Under yet

Jaclyn Diaz

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